Federal Government Cleans Up Vacant Campus Building

The federal government has spent $425,776 so far to clean up the thousands of chemicals abandoned in a vacant science building on the Knoxville College campus.

Environmental Protection Agency official Anita Davis told the Knoxville News Sentinel the federal agency will seek to recover the cost of the three-week June cleanup from the struggling historically black college

The first step in recouping that money will be to send a demand letter to college officials. Davis says that is something the agency plans to do in 2015.

The school’s most recent federal tax documents available show the college in 2011 operated at a $525,000 deficit and was $4.1 million in debt.

A remediation team with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation discovered the chemicals in early June.

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Change Smoke Alarm Batteries with Daylight Saving Time

The State Fire Marshal’s Office is reminding Tennesseans to change the batteries in their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors when they set back their clocks Saturday night for daylight saving time.

Officials say the early warning of a smoke alarm can double the chances of survival by increasing the amount of time a person has to escape a fire in their home.

Seventy percent of the fire fatalities in Tennessee last year occurred in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.

For fire prevention tips, visit the link to the right.

Rivals Gear Up for Next Round of Tenn. Whiskey War

Jack Daniel's

State lawmakers are gearing up for the next round of a fight between global liquor giants over the legal definition of Tennessee whiskey.

Louisville, Kentucky-based Brown-Forman, which owns Jack Daniel’s, supports the law requiring Tennessee whiskey to be made from 51 percent corn, aged in new charred oak barrels, filtered through maple charcoal and bottled at a minimum of 80 proof. George Dickel, which is owned by British liquor conglomerate Diageo, opposes those rules as too restrictive.

A state Senate committee that would take up any challenges to the law next session on Thursday heard from representatives of Jack Daniels and George Dickel, as well as from the owners of a growing number of craft distilleries in the state who have been caught in the middle of the debate.

Alexander, Corker to host Ebola Roundtable in Chattanooga

Sen. Bob Corker (left) and Sen. Lamar Alexander. AP photos


(News Channel 4- Nashville)

U.S. Tennessee Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker will host a roundtable discussion in Chattanooga on Ebola preparedness.

The event is scheduled for 2 to 3:15 p.m. on Friday at the CHI Memorial Hospital.

Alexander and Corker will meet with local health officials and medical experts to discuss how prepared the state is in case of an Ebola virus outbreak.

Earlier this month, the Tennessee Hospital Association, Tennessee Medical Association and Tennessee Nurses Association issued a joint statement saying they’re on heightened awareness for anyone showing up in their emergency rooms and physicians’ offices who exhibit symptoms similar to the Ebola virus.

The groups say they’re working in concert with the Tennessee Department of Health, as well as appropriate federal agencies, to ensure appropriate protocols and policies are in place.


Student Admits to Killing a Bobcat Out of Season

A 16-year-old Coffee County High School student admits he killed a native bobcat out of season and faces a minimal fine and court costs. But the investigation of how the slain animal wound up displayed from a goal post at a Tullahoma High School remains open. Tennessee wildlife resources agency officer Doug Markham says the agency has sought a juvenile petition against the youth, who allegedly shot the bobcat before the legal season begins next month. How the dead cat wound up at the Tullahoma campus as a poorly motivated prank is still under investigation. Markham says any further legal action will be determined by Tullahoma school officials. The vandalism has sparked outrage from animal rights groups. The people for ethical treatment of animals, of “PETA” organizations is offering up to $2,500 for information leading to arrests in connection with the incident. The bobcat display was evidently intended to slam the THS Wildcar mascot before tonight’s annual Coffee Pot trophy football contest between Tullahoma and Coffee County Central High School.

Traders Bank to be Sold

Tullahoma’s oldest commercial bank will be sold to a Macon County financial institution in a transaction set to be complete by early next year. Citizens Bank of Lafayette says it’s taking over Traders Bank. Traders is the 7th oldest bank in Tennessee and currently operates in Tullahoma, Manchester,Winchester and Shelbyville. Citizens Bank now primarily offers financial services out of offices concentrated in Macon, Smith and Dekalb Counties. Traders Bank offices will continue to operate under that name. Traders was founded in 1889. It lists assets of $157 million and deposits of $141 million. Citizens bank of Lafayette was founded in 1909 and claims assets of some $650 million.

No on One Side Outraises Abortion Amendment Proponents

NAS-Early Voting-03.jpg

Groups fighting a proposed anti-abortion amendment to the state’s constitution out-spent those favoring the measure by more than 3-1 margin according to finance reports filed earlier. The vote no on one group spent $3.43 million to push opposition to the amendment between October 1st-25th. That included nearly $2 million in television advertising. Yes on 1 proponents report spending a little over $1 million in the same time frame. Planned parenthood groups in Tennessee, Florida, California, Massachusetts and Washington gave heavily to the anti-amendment push. Pro-amendment contributions came mainly from conservatives activists. A Middle Tennessee State University poll released this week suggests voters are almost evenly divided on the issue.